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Yesterday I went to a memorial for another former member of my chorus who recently died. I didn't know very much about him while he was a member, although he often sat next to me during rehearsal. He had Alzheimer's disease, so couldn't always communicate effectively.

Turns out he had a very interesting life. He earned a PhD in EE from Stanford. He formed a Silicon Valley start-up. He had a variety of hobbies, such as scuba, guitar, and later, choral singing.

The memorial was like some other events I've described in the past: at the home of prominent people (scholars and entrepreneurs like my former professors whose homes I visited as an undergrad) who live in expensive houses. It seems like just about everyone in my chorus is either a prominent person, the spouse/SO of one, or a very good friend of one. For example, one of the sopranos' SOs just recently won a Nobel Prize in physics. A former alto's late husband was a full professor in mechanical engineering at Stanford and a key NASA researcher. A baritone (who sometimes sits next to me) has a PhD in aeronautical engineering from MIT and was the mayor of Palo Alto for a while. A soprano and her husband are medical researchers at Stanford. The list goes on ...

Some of these people take up things like music after they're retired. It makes me wonder if many years from now, folks like Sergey Brin will become members of my chorus. That would be interesting. (If that happens, I wonder how much he will talk about the company, such as what he might say about click fraud. I expect to still be curious.)


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 13th, 2006 05:57 am (UTC)
That's impressive. You hang out with a very influential group. Have you checked out Google's Adsense group? I think you belong with that group since you have a search engine background and an interest in click fraud that ties into online advertising.

Bird of the same feathers flock together.
Mar. 13th, 2006 06:41 am (UTC)
I checked Google's jobs site and there are no AdSense openings for a person with my background. (Most of the openings are for people in PR, sales, marketing, etc.)

Also, I doubt I would get hired by any AdSense group since I have (publicly) criticized CPC advertising. As a general observation, I don't think Google is a good fit for me professionally and personally.
Mar. 13th, 2006 12:56 pm (UTC)
Sounds like the Boston Ceclia. Stephen Jay Gould was a bass in the chorus at some point, and the list went on. He wasn't retired at that point - just incredibly involved. I didn't know him well, but he was interesting - he didn't sing well, though, sadly.
Mar. 14th, 2006 12:46 am (UTC)
I don't think we're quite up to Boston Cecilia yet, although my director would be very flattered! Schola Cantorum (the group my director is the assistant director and accompanist for) has stiffer requirements for membership, but also draws from the same pool of intelligent/talented/entrepreneurial folks.

BTW, I've been thinking that based on where you work and live, you probably know (or know people who know) people who've had some influence on my life, such as MIT professors, CMGI executives, etc.
Mar. 15th, 2006 02:48 am (UTC)
Likely. I worked in the MIT alumni association for 7 years, first in the Regions area, then as their computer person. At any rate, that was awhile ago, but it wouldn't surprise me if I knew some of the same folks you do/did.
Mar. 13th, 2006 04:35 pm (UTC)
My sympathies on his passing. It sounds like he had a rich and interesting life.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )